As the commercial says, “Life comes at you fast.” It is easy to get overwhelmed with work, chores, cleaning up, and caring for the family. Oh yeah, and taking care of yourself mentally and physically while guarding against pandemics and more.
That feeling of overwhelm can begin to build on itself, creating a self-duplicating whirlpool of doubt, regret, and doom.
There are many ways to beat that feeling, including talking with a therapist. But one essentially free and relatively easy way to get out of that mood is to create something.
Sure, you could create something that might be helpful around the house, like a doily for the armchair, or a macrame plant holder.
But the best mood booster is pure art for the sake of art.
Creating art expands your vision of yourself
Our daily lives don’t always offer us many chances to be really creative. The stress of getting to places on time and managing multiple projects and schedules often prevents us from taking the time to do this, and we come to see ourselves as very practical problem solvers.
But when we take the time to say something through art, or just to create something that is beautiful or interesting to look at, or to listen to, we tap into a primordial human need. This is a part of us that many of us neglect.
However, tapping into your creative side can release a flood of positive chemicals into our brains. The physical action of moving in a new way sends positive signals to our brain and fires new neurons – and anytime anything new happens in our brains, it creates positive side effects.
Also, expressing ourselves in a new way promotes the release of oxytocin
Use what you have
A common concern among budding home artists is the lack of supplies. Maybe you don’t have oil paints, an easel, and a cliff overlooking a verdant valley. Few people do!
But art can come from almost anything.
Maybe you can draw on sugar packets like Jo Potocki.
Maybe you turn paper squares into origami.
People make music from spoons too, and you don’t even have to be as accomplished as Abby Roach to make it happen.
The fact is, you can make art with whatever you have handy. A pencil and the back of a receipt? Great, practice shading and drawing simple geometric forms.
Share your art for a rush of serotonin
Also today we have multiple outlets for our creativity. It is easy to share a completed project on Facebook or Instagram. Just this act of sharing creates a surge of adrenaline, as taking a risk always does.
But even better, most creative efforts are rewarded on social networks by receiving positive commentary. This praise from friends and strangers, even if just a discussion of methods and meanings of your work, can release their own, second flood of serotonin.
Serotonin is so powerful, it has been shown to positively affect your digestion and bone growth. But all you will notice is that it makes you feel a deep sense of satisfaction and well-being that can last for days or weeks, depending on the amount of effort put into the piece.
Create, and then share it with others to get a conversation – and a stream of feel-good chemistry – started.
If your bad mood persists, or it starts to affect your daily routines, you might want to look into other solutions. Sometimes the best approach is to get in touch with a therapist who can help you explore the causes of your melancholy, and evaluate the best solutions for moving forward.
Do you have a challenging relationship problem that is costing you sleep, or robbing you of your sense of independence? You likely will benefit from talking to a licensed therapist like Sakina Issa.
Luckily, these conversations can happen discreetly and by appointment using the same tools you have grown comfortable using at work, like Zoom or GoToMeeting. Just click the button in the upper right hand corner.
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